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John Legend reveals the reasons he came back to ‘The Voice’

Legend took Season 23 off but is back in the iconic spinning red chair for the new season.
/ Source: TODAY

John Legend loves his day job as a musician, but he's leaning into his not-so-casual side hustle as a coach on "The Voice."

In an interview with TODAY prior to the show's return next week, Legend revealed why he decided to serve as a coach for Season 24 after taking the last season off.

He first joked that when he stepped back from the show, he and wife Chrissy Teigen had doubled the number of kids they had.

“We have four (kids) now," he laughed. "I think if I have another season off, we’ll have eight!"

Legend and Teigen welcomed baby Esti in January and baby Wren via surrogate in June. They already shared Luna, 7, and Miles, 5.

John Legend on "The Voice" Season 24
John Legend is back on "The Voice" for Season 24.Tyler Golden / NBC

"I really enjoy coaching. I truly enjoy it," he said. "I love spending time with the artists."

He added that while he loves the "competitive aspect" of the blind auditions, he also loves helping the up-and-coming artists.

"Once we get past the blinds, it's really just all about coaching these artists, helping them put together great performances and giving them the opportunity to shine and in front of the whole country and we get to have a hand in that," he said. "I'm so inspired by them. It truly makes me a better artist."

Legend added that he loves being able to stay in Los Angeles to film the show and spend more time with his family.

Legend first appeared on the show as a battle adviser for then-coach Adam Levine in Season 10. Legend joined the show as a coach in Season 16 and won with contestant Maelyn Jarmon. He served as a coach for several seasons after that before taking Season 23 off.

Here's what Legend's fellow coaches have to say heading into Season 24.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani on "The Voice" Season 24
Gwen Stefani returns to "The Voice" this fall.Tyler Golden / NBC

Stefani echoed Legend's thoughts on coaching making her a better artist.

“I mean, it really does inspire you to be in that kind of role to be able to help somebody," she said. "I know it might sound like I’m just saying that for TV, but I really swear, you really do have an impact and you get to know them for a really short amount of time, (and) it’s just fun."

She said there's so much talent on the show that she sometimes wonders how she ever made it in the business.

"It’s inspiring to watch such talent and it makes you humble," she said. "You’re like, 'God, how did I ever make it?' These people are so gifted and I’m so blessed that I got to do music for my career. I mean, I didn’t even think I was going to have a career, let alone to be able to (do) singing, dancing.”

Season 24 will be Stefani's seventh time on the show as a coach after previously appearing in Seasons Seven, Nine, 12, 17, 19 and 22. She won Season 19 with contestant Carter Rubin.

She also previously served as a battle adviser for her husband, country star and former coach Blake Shelton, in Season 10, and as an adviser for Christina Aguilera's and Pharrell Williams' teams in Season Eight.

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire on "The Voice" Season 24
Reba McEntire is making her "Voice" coach debut.Tyler Golden / NBC

Though she's done just about every other kind of TV, this is McEntire's first reality competition show rodeo.

She said the other coaches have been very helpful in getting her "Voice" sea legs.

"They've been so sweet, teaching me, guiding me," she told TODAY. "I couldn't do it without them."

McEntire added that she was "absolutely not" confident she'd come home with a win this season but was having a good time regardless.

She said her first turn in the iconic red chair was "amazing" and she was "thrilled" with the contestant she got.

"Sometimes you hear (their voice) and you're thinking, 'Wow, that girl can sing!' And you turn around and it's a guy with a very high voice and I'm like 'OK, I didn't expect that!'" she laughed.

She said she's realized that winning the show is a "crapshoot" because "every one of them will grow and show us more than we ever thought they can do."

"So it's a crapshoot," she said. "Anybody could win. Because there's so much talent."

McEntire added that only some have what it takes to make it in Hollywood.

"The ones that have more try than talent will be the ones that can be on the radio, but that's what it takes," she said. "A lot of people have talent, but do they want to do what we've had to do for so many years to get where we are? It's that try that sometimes outdoes the talent."

McEntire is following in the cowboy boot footsteps of former coach Blake Shelton, who appeared on the show for its first 23 seasons.

She told "Entertainment Tonight" earlier this year that "The Voice" had originally approached her all those years ago about being a coach but she'd turned it down, saying she initially didn't think it was up her alley.

“I got (a look at) the Holland version of 'The Voice.' They sent it to me and I said, ‘I can’t see me doing that.’ Because, you know, I’m a gypsy at heart,” McEntire said at the time. But she appeared last season as the show's mega mentor and is trying her hand in the red chair for Season 24.

Niall Horan

Niall Horan on "The Voice" Season 24
Niall Horan won Season 23 of "The Voice."Tyler Golden / NBC

Former One Direction star Niall Horan is back for his second spin on "The Voice."

The Irishman won in Season 23 — his first time on the show — with his artist Gina Miles.

Horan went up against then-coaches Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Chance the Rapper.

Stefani said she's been floored by the serious fans that show up for the former boy band star.

"I mean, Niall (Horan) walks out and girls are just, like, screaming," she said, laughing. "It's freaky!"

Legend echoed her comments, adding that sometimes Horan's fans are contestants on the show, which makes it difficult to convince them to join the teams of other coaches.

"We have our share of Directioners not just in the audience, but people that are actually auditioning for the show," he explained. "And we have to deal with, like, some serious fandom and once they reveal themselves to be Directioners we're just like, 'It's over, we have no shot.'"

Season 24 of “The Voice” premieres on NBC on Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. ET.